The Astros’ former top prospect, Forrest Whitley, has started throwing again.
Forrest Whitley started his 2021 campaign on the wrong foot, as the right-hander battled soreness at the beginning of spring training. It was late announced that the Houston Astros‘ prospect would require Tommy John surgery to repair his strained UCL.
Now, Whitley is in West Palm Beach, Fla., where the right-hander is back to throwing. On Monday, the top pitching prospect took to Instagram to show off a quick look at his progressions thus far.
Whitley has remained on the Astros’ 40-man roster the entire season thus far, while a move to 60-day injured list would start his service time clock. The right-hander could be deemed to valuable of a move to the 60-day in terms of future payments and service time, as a possibly drastic 40-man shuffle could be the only reason he would move late into season.
With most Tommy John surgery recoveries taking 12-14 months, the Astros could see Whitley fully back on the bump as early as mid-March 2022. The right-hander hasn’t pitched past Triple-A in his career, while he could still be eyed to make his major-league debut next season and be rotational depth.
Whitley joins a list of pitchers eyeing 26-man roster spots in 2022, as left-hander Kent Emanuel has begun throwing again and right-hander Tyler Ivey is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land.
These three hurlers could take spot starts during the 2022 season, while Emanuel would likely jump back into the bullpen pending his offseason and spring training progressions. There is a lot of young pitching talent at disposal for next season that can provide needed depth in response to injuries, which was slightly lacking this year.